Latest Issue

Do older people prefer spicy foods? Yes, according to the emerging science of smell and taste. At around 40, apparently, people’s taste buds start to fade. They lose the ability to taste, in particular, sweet and sour. But some foods do retain their impact: those in the category of “sensory irritants”—that is, foods such as chilli, pepper, horseradish and wasabi that work on the body not through taste or smell but through the “chemosensory system ” (which conveys temperature, touch, pain etc). And so the older you get, the more you seek such foods out.

In America, according to…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect